We should show compassion for Kanye West and his struggle with bipolar disorder as his wife suggested.
Her official statement:
“As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder. Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand. I’ve never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye’s right to privacy when it comes to his health. But today, I feel like I should comment on it because off the stigma and misconceptions about mental health.”
“I understand Kanye is subject to criticism because he is a public figure and his actions at times can cause strong opinions and emotions,” she continued. “He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a black man, who experienced the painful loss of his mother, and has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bi-polar disorder. Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times do not align with his intentions.”
We still need to hold him accountable for his actions.
These actions include declaring slavery was a choice (for the slaves), saying Harriet Tubman didn’t free the slaves, and jumping on the Trump train for a time. Yes, being a Trump supporter is very problematic. Leave now if you think this is debatable. It’s not, by the way.
Mental Illness Does Not Excuse Bad Behavior
Let me start off by saying I want Kanye West to get help. He desperately needs it given his recent statements. He comes across as very erratic and disjointed, and no I will not chalk it up to “just being a genius.”
He is not a troubled artist. He is a man suffering from untreated bipolar disorder.
As the topic of mental illness gains widespread recognition and understanding, it’s important to remember that bad behavior is ALWAYS inexcusable. It’s never okay for someone to mistreat you and blame it on their mental illness.
It is not okay to use mental illness as a way to avoid personal accountability. Kanye has every resource at his disposal to treat his condition and refuses to do so. As Kim stated, there is little she and the rest of the family can do about it. As a result, he has to be the one to seek help.
His inaccurate statements about black history not only cause damage but spread needless misinformation. This can’t come at a worse time. We’re in the middle of a cultural enlightenment to systemic racism, after all.
We do not need false statements about a prominent historical black figure. And we do not need them spread across social media.
It’s okay to call him out on that and expect him to correct his behavior.
Celebrities Are Not Above Reproach
We place celebrities on too-high a pedestal at times. Because of this, we don’t view them as actual human beings. At least, we don’t until they do something messed up. Then, we take pleasure in their misery.
The entire culture is toxic and disturbing, but that’s a dissertation for another day.
Still, no celebrity is above being criticized for their actions. Yes, even my beloved Beyonce can be scrutinized. Our culture reinforces the importance and value of celebrities every hour of every day.
We believe we’ll never be as good as them. So, we further cement into our psyche that they’re “untouchable.”
And speaking of reinforcing….
We Perpetuate & Reinforce the Wrong Beliefs
By refusing to hold someone like Kanye West accountable, we reinforce negative beliefs. We perpetuate the idea that people with mental illness are immune to consequences. As a result, they don’t seek the proper treatment they are in desperate need of.
Kanye’s irresponsible spread of misinformation then becomes all the more problematic. He can freely use his platform to mislead and potentially brainwash. As stated earlier, we’re highly susceptible to celebrity influence, which makes this espeically dangerous.
So again, we MUST continue to show compassion to individuals suffering from mental illness. We must NOT, however, continue the belief that said mental illness cancels out consequences.